‘Second Service’ Tennis News: Federer to partner Nadal in final career match & Alcaraz admits ‘I had the luck that Djokovic could not play’
Looking back on the big tennis news in our exclusive ‘Second Service’… Roger Federer will partner Rafael Nadal in his final career match at Laver Cup as Carlos Alcaraz admitted he was lucky not to have Djokovic playing at the US Open, plus more…
To start, Roger Federer will play his final ever professional match alongside Rafael Nadal at the Laver Cup later today.
Federer announced earlier this month that he would retire after the Laver Cup following a three-year struggle with a knee injury.
“Maybe I can play doubles with Rafa, that would be an absolute dream” noted Federer earlier this week. It will happen later today.
In other news, Juan Martin del Potro says he feels like he has been left ‘with nothing’ after having his tennis career ripped from him.
Del Potro was at a high point in his career when he broke his kneecap at Queen’s in 2019. While it was not the first injury struggle of Del Potro’s career, it has certainly been the most painful one, and he has opened up regarding just how tough he has found it.
“I can’t psychologically accept a life without tennis,” he said. “I did not have a gradual transition to the after, I did not prepare, I have no idea what the other athletes did to live this process peacefully. I was number three in the world, then suddenly I broke my knees and here I am, with nothing.”
Furthermore, Andy Murray has predicted he has ‘a few more years’ left in his career as tennis prepares to say farewell to Roger Federer.
Murray has assured fans that he has no retirement plans of his own just yet:
“It’s alright, I’m getting on a bit now but my body still feels alright,” Murray said. “I’ll try myself to keep going and hopefully got a few more years left in me.
“Yeah, I mean, for me the last few years, yeah, I think as you get older as athletes and with some of the physical issues, yeah, you do think about, you know, what if or when should you stop and when is the right moment and how would you like it to be.”
Moving on, Carlos Alcaraz was happy to concede that Novak Djokovic not being at the US Open was ‘lucky’ for him.
Djokovic’s vaccination stance meant he was unable to enter America and compete at the US Open. In the end, it was 19-year-old Alcaraz who took the opportunity and won a maiden major, but he acknowledges there was some goof fortune involved.
“Look, I don’t want to take credit away from myself,” Alcaraz The New York Times after the US Open, “but it’s true that Rafa, Djokovic, Federer, they were in a period when they were all playing. I had the luck or whatever you want to call it that Djokovic could not play. Everybody has their reasons, but that is the reality.
And lastly, Novak Djokovic chose two special moments in his rivalry with Roger Federer ahead of the Swiss great’s final pro match at the Laver Cup.
The two men, with 41 Major titles between them, have done battle on 50 occasions over 14 years on the tour, including in five Slam finals at Wimbledon and the US Open. It was one memory at each of those most prestigious events that Djokovic selected when asked what sticks in the mind on his showdowns with Federer.
“Well, I’ll pick my first Grand Slam final, [at the] US Open 2007. I lost that match,” said Djokovic and then added:
“2019, sorry, Roger, finals of Wimbledon,” Djokovic said.
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